The Christmas tree farm that Taylor Swift sang about may have been in Pennsylvania, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave Chicago to make your own Christmas magic with your pup! Leash up and check out these dog-friendly Christmas tree farms near Chicago. Just make sure Fido knows that peeing on *these* trees will get him on the naughty list.
Well-behaved pups should be on a non-retractable leash. We suggest the Patio Leash in a festive, Scotsman print.
1. Ben’s Christmas Tree Farm
Limited dates for 2022: November 25-27 and December 3-4
Your dog’s never met Ben, but she thinks he’s got good tree vibes. She’s right, since Ben’s Christmas Tree Farm in Harvard has beautiful and organic trees in 8 different varieties of firs and pines. Planning ahead is essential as Ben’s will only be open two weekends this year, November 25-27 and December 3-4, in an effort to maintain a sustainable harvest. Free tree shaking and baling are included. After you’ve picked your favorite tree, stop by the Warming Barn for a wreath and garland and complimentary coffee or hot chocolate. Don’t forget to say hello to the farm animals, including oh-so-cute goats. Keep your eyes peeled for a cameo by Santa as you board the horse-drawn or tractor-drawn wagon rides!
2. Williams Tree Farm
Open for 2022 season beginning November 12, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
Williams Tree Farm in Rockton is a bit out of the way, but that means you have 90 minutes to jam out to your dog’s favorite Christmas song, “Howl I Want For Christmas Is You.” There’s plenty of variety with firs, spruce, and pine trees that you can purchase pre-cut or cut yourself. If you just want to bask in the wintery spirit, a $1 entrance fee per person provides you access to perks like horse-drawn wagon rides, food trucks, cabin cafe gift shop, and unlimited pets of their pawsitively perfect farm pups. Photos are welcome if you’re trying to get your holiday card done; check out their schedule for when Santa’ll be making a visit.
3. Camelot Trees
Opening day is Friday, November 25. Open weekdays noon-4 p.m., weekends 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Your dog isn’t here for fun and games; he’s here to find a tree that’ll make the Rockefeller Center jealous. If no frills, just great trees, are also what you’re looking for, Camelot Trees in DeKalb is the perfect place for you. Starting November 25, choose from 8 varieties of trees, wreaths, roping and swags. Camelot will even lend you a saw to cut pup’s fave down yourself (just don’t forget cash or a check; credit and debit cards aren’t accepted here). The 4 p.m. closing time is for a reason—there’s no outdoor lighting at this farm. Make sure to save time to admire the beautiful Lake Faivre adjacent to the farm with pup (can you say core memory?).
4. Richardson Adventure Farm
Open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. seven days a week; U-cut only available November 25-December 4
Something Richardson’s and your pup have in common is that “Adventure” is both their middle names. The Spring Grove-based farm offers 6 varieties of trees that grow upwards of 8-feet tall, but what they really have is just everything that makes Christmas, well, Christmas! From free wagon rides to hot chocolate, wreaths, concessions and food trucks during the weekends, Richardson’s makes it easy to get totally freakin’ ~festive~. Before you head home, don’t forget to stop at the gift shop to find something perfect for everyone on your nice list. Dogs are allowed to tag along but must be kept outside while you browse. Saws and twine are provided; admission is free.
5. Abbey Farms
2022 season begins November 19; open daily 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Your dog doesn’t know the difference between trees (they’re all his favorite to mark), but Abbey Farms in Aurora has 4 types of trees to choose from, including Spruce U-cuts. On the other hand, your dog just got a pawdicure and wouldn’t hate a tree that’s pre-cut. Either way, while you wait for your tree to be shaken and baled, swing by the Farmstead Emporium to try some delicious snackies like apple cider donuts and hot chocolate. Dogs aren’t allowed in the Emporium, petting zoo, corn mazes or on hayrides, so make sure to buy extra treatos so you can share with him outside. Paw tip: Reserve your tickets online before their season opens November 19.
6. Gengel Christmas Tree Farm
Open November 19-20 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Open Friday-Sundays 8 a.m.-4 p.m. starting the Friday after Thanksgiving
Family-owned and operated since the 1960s, the hoomans at Gengel Christmas Tree Farm know a thing or two about loyalty. And you know how dogs feel about loyalty. Head out to Lake Villa beginning November 19 for a selection of fresh cut Balsam Fir, Fraser Fir, Caanan Fir, Scotch Pine, and White Pine in various sizes, plus wreaths and kissing balls. Pup prefer to show off her muscles? Have her try her paw at cutting her own Scotch or White Pine before taking a breather while the Gengel team nets and ties your prized pine to your car.
7. Lee’s Trees
Opening day is Sunday, November 20, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Open Friday, November 25 and Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Lily Lake’s Lee’s Trees is a great place for a dog to start a new family tradition. Take your pick at 4 to 8 foot Scotch Pine, White Pine, Canaan Fir, Fraser Fir, Balsam Fir, and Serbian and Norway Spruce. In addition to holiday decorations like wreaths and centerpieces made daily and several options for choose-and-harvest and pre-cut trees, Lee’s offers a super fun activity that’ll keep you coming back year after year. After you and your bestie select your tree, they’ll snap your pic and post it on their display board the following season, when you’ll be able to take it home.
8. Pioneer Tree Farm
Limited dates for 2022: November 25-27 and December 3-4, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Pioneer Tree Farm in McHenry doesn’t just pride itself on growing organic-only trees pruned by hand. They take the season of giving meaning to heart, donating a portion of all sales to the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County, a local environmental stewardship nonprofit. What philanthropically-inclined pup wouldn’t love that? While their two-weekend season may be short, they make up for it by providing a great crop of pines, spruces, cedars, and firs. When the weather dips, head to their warming house and explore a newly-moved authentic log cabin. Wagon rides to and from the pines are complimentary, as are tree shaking and baling.
Are there any Christmas tree farms near Chicago that we missed? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to tag @SidewalkDog in all your seasonal ‘Gram photos!
Featured photo: Nathan McDine
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